Arts & Culture

KCUR’s Arts & Culture Desk covers arts news from music to visual art to dance and theater, with a focus on Kansas and Missouri.

Our reporters explore the behind-the-scene stories about newsmakers and emerging artists. We also take a look at the intersections of arts and technology, science and creativity, and present profiles of creative people. 

Rain Rannu / Flickr -- CC

A new documentary about hummus explores the role of this simple dish in two cultures, plus a scupltor on Decade, her 10-year retrospective that opens tonight.

Then, a chat with two local musicians on how they're paying tribute to David Bowie.

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Thirty years. That's how much experience the trio of actors starring in a new Kansas City Actors Theatre production have ... each. They tell us about the challenges of sustaining an acting career in the Midwest.

http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/hidden-figures

John F. Kennedy had a dream of sending a white man, a black man and an Asian to the moon. Ed Dwight, a KCK native, came close to being the black man on that mission.

Inspired by the upcoming film, Hidden Figures, we hear his story. Plus, a chat with a molecular biologist and our film critics.

Guests:

Christophe Testi

This story was updated with comments from ArtsKC. 

Bruce W. Davis has resigned as the president and chief executive officer of ArtsKC —Regional Arts Council after less than a year on the job. 

In a news release on Tuesday, ArtsKC board chair Brad Douglas announced that Davis's last day was Monday, January 2. 

Douglas told KCUR that Davis notified the board in December about his departure.

A portrait isn't just about capturing someone's literal likeness. It's about capturing the inner essence. So how is it done? And how is it done well? We host a roundtable discussion with Kansas City artists – from painter to doll-maker – to explore the ins and outs of portraiture in various mediums.

Guests: 

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

She's an acclaimed singer-songwriter who has been compared to Nina Simone and Roberta Flack. Rufus Wainwright has called her "one of the greatest living singers at the moment." From her home base in Paris, she tours the world . . . yet one of her favorite spots is still the Midtown porch of her 8th grade teacher.

In this encore presentation of Central Standard, meet Kansas City native Krystle Warren.

Guest:

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

When you picture a break-dancer, or "b-boy," you may envision a skinny kid who drops to the ground and pops back up like it's no big deal. But the hip-hop culture that gave rise to break-dancing isn't getting any younger.

Now, the original hip-hop generation is bringing kids to the club for events featuring crayons. In this encore presentation of Central Standard, we ask, how is the culture of hip-hop growing up with them? Plus, profiles of three icons in Kansas City's hip-hop scene. 

TEDxKC

For the second year running, Up To Date has invited presenters from TEDxKC to fill us in on their work.

Paul Andrews

In this encore presentation of Central Standard, local artist and pastor Dylan Mortimer discusses his art, his faith and his battle with cystic fibrosis, which he faced head on in his exhibit last January called "Cure."

Guest:

cdbaby.com

It's tradition that every year Up To Date brings you, the best music from the Kansas City area and around the world. But unlike holiday sweaters and fruitcake, our music experts have something everyone can enjoy.

This year's panelists are:

Courtesy of the artist and Tiwani Contemporary, London

When you think sexual revolution, you're probably thinking of the 1960s or 1970s, right? Well, it began much earlier than that. KU sociologist Brian Donovan's new book explores the implications of sex crime trials in the 1900s.

We also meet Canadian artist and Kenyan refugee Dawit L. Petros, whose photographs are currently on display at the H&R Block Artspace.

Photocapy / Flickr -- CC

What do ancient religious rituals mean to millennials? Across faiths, people are following the rituals of their parents and grandparents, but the meaning they attach to those practices may be changing.

Plus, a chat with the curator of an exhibit, ¿Qué Pasa, USA?, which features artists of color who are using humor to explore questions of race and belonging.

Guests:

Régine Debatty / Flickr -- CC

Even though he was born in the United States, artist Roger Shimomura still gets asked where he’s from. Or he’s told that he speaks English really well.

“The presumption is that if you’re Asian, you must be foreign to this country,” he told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard.

Poetry smut queen Patricia Lockwood recently spent some time in her childhood home in Lawrence, Kansas. She joins us to talk about her recent New Yorker article about technology and notebooks, and her new memoir, Priestdaddy.

Thomas Leuthard / Flickr-CC

Media critic Jay Rosen has been writing about evidence-based vs. accusation-driven journalism for years. Rosen joins us, along with a few local thinkers, in conversation about what's at stake for journalism, and what's next, as we head into a Trump presidency.

E.G. Schempf/Courtesy of Haw Contemporary

Around a year ago, Dylan Mortimer was just beginning to explore his struggles with Cystic Fibrosis in his art. A visit with him on his new one-man show, "Regeneration."

What's the difference between sacred and secular music? The director of "Christmas in Song" explains.

Then, the story behind a new play, We Are The Landscape, that debuts in KC this week. It was two years in the making and involved trips all around the world.

Guests:

Photographer Seph Lawless has been photographing abandoned malls and deserted locations for over a decade. But he calls Metro North Mall the creepiest in America. A chat with Seph about his Metro North photos, and also with a KC Star reporter about the state of our malls — and mall development — in town.

Plus, an encore presentation with a local author whose Landry Park books for teens depict a dystopian Kansas City in the year 2300.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has endured for decades, but former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell believes a nonviolent resolution is still possible. Then, one data scientist says expanding misuse of algorithms and mathematical modeling is creating Weapons of Math Destruction.

What are the books that you turn to when you need to connect with something bigger than yourself? KCUR's Bibliofiles recommend their own personal classics, their dog-eared favorites that they turn to frequently.

Guests:

With so many things competing for our attention these days, building an arts audience can be a challenge. Today, we learn how organizations like ArtsKC work to get people off the couch and into the concert hall. Then, find out what it was about a life on stage that brought award-winning guitarist Peter Himmelman to develop his own methods for more fully engaging creative potential.

Paul Andrews

A chat with the local actor and director about being an out teen in Blue Springs, how he helped create the campy and irreverent Late Night Theatre group and how, until recently, he couldn't perform onstage without throwing up.

Guest:

The story of how a local art gallery curator, while on his honeymoon in Guatemala, came across the intricate embroidery work of Antonio Ramirez Sosof, a self-taught artist who used to be a lumberjack.

Plus, an encore presentation of how a KU professor discovered that Neanderthals adorned their bodies with eagle talon jewelry.

Guests:

Courtesy of Craig Jones

Where do you get your hard-shell taco? You know, the kind that's filled with seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce and cheese and a soupy red sauce?

Well, for some Kansas Citians, it depends on where you grew up.

According to Craig Jones, In-A-Tub is a Northland tradition.

"For a lot of people that grew up north of the river, that was their first foray into Mexican food," he told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR's Central Standard.

When Anthony Ladesich found his father's youthful correspondence with an old Navy friend on a stack of reel-to-reel tapes, he also found so much more: a portal into Kansas City's jazz history, and a way of keeping his dad with him a little longer.

Plus, for the first time ever, a student was admitted to UMKC Conservatory's composition program using the computer as his instrument.

This is an encore edition of Central Standard.

Guests:

First, we look at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's latest plans for expansion that's raising a few questions with some of its neighbors.

An Israeli artist who got his start doing aerial photography for the military — and has an exhibit opening in KC — talks about surveillance, trauma and expression.

Plus, a local author writes about trying to connect with a neighbor in a new anthology about inequality in America.

Guests:

Jennifer Milikien / Public Domain

Not to bum you out, but the weekend is finite.

A way to creatively stretch it: Do things that have a decent chance of enduring in your mind, things whose proven appeal has already lasted decades or even centuries in the history of entertainment.

Can’t take Friday or Monday off? No problem. You can still make the weekend last!

Like a good story, a song changes over time as it passes through different voices. We explore the Anatomy of a Song with writer and Wall Street Journal contributor Marc Myers, who recollects the oral histories behind some of the greatest classics in the past fifty years.

The history of brewing beer in KC, then a look at healthcare in KC's music community.

Guests:

Paul Andrews/paulandrewsphotography.com

For the past six years, Jyoti Mukharji has opened her home kitchen to teach Kansas Citians about Indian cuisine.

But to her fans, her classes are more than just about cooking. Mukharji peppers her talk with personal stories and health tips, then the class ends in a dinner party around her dining room table.

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